Sennheiser HD650 Love (Appreciation Thread)

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Sep 27, 2015.

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  1. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    That really is a shame. HD650's are a classic. Now you've got me thinking about snagging a second pair used, while the good ones are still floating around.
     
  2. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    I was concerned about this very thing happening when they moved production to Romania [link to press release]. I think they could full well replicate the Irish standard of production at their new Romanian facility, but they chose not to. Probably corporate bean counters trying to "optimize" their production chain, i.e., steadily degrade the quality of their products through "value engineering". There was some conversation a while back about the Sonarworks guys finding early Romanian HD650 batches to be out of spec. My recollection is that got resolved, but clearly they are still having issues. Or maybe they've just lowered the bar for what they deem an acceptable end result. It's disappointing to say the least. Being an HD600 guy, I picked up a back-up pair of the kitchen countertop variety last year when Amazon still had stock. They are tucked away on a shelf for a rainy day, but I like knowing I have a pair in reserve in case anything happens to my daily driver.
     
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  3. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    My money says after the pads break in a little and the driver as well, they will sound just as you expected.
     
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  4. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Hi @k4rstar, pardon my asking but could you take a photo of the back end of the baffle? Want to satisfy my curiosity about something, i.e. whether the finishing looks uneven.
     
  5. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    I remember that, too. I mean, this is the classic problem with changing manufacturing locations... sometimes you need the culture/job market/skill pool that arises from having a place where people have been making x thing for generations. I liken it to the retired maintenance man's secrets. Even with his notebook, nobody is going to come into that facility knowing how to manage everything like him.

    I think they want to move past the old HD600/650 and have something new take over at this point. And maybe to justify keeping them around, they have to lower the cost of making them. *shrugs* I'm not sure but this pattern is a bit troubling.

    But yeah, that rainy-day pair is kind of the attitude I'm having. I don't know if they will continue to have the quality problems or not, or if anything will ever happen to my favorite pair of headphones. Usually with most things you can just buy another. But when that's in doubt it's nice to know you have an extra life tucked away. I would hate to lose the pair I have years from now and never get one that sounds as good again.
     
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  6. k4rstar

    k4rstar Done his time

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    I don't think so. it took about 20 minutes of listening to determine the nature of sound is different. I know my senn's, this is maybe my 10th pair in 4 years, at some point you expect something and this is the first time I'm not getting it - regardless of pad wear. I always have fresh pads on my senn's and I have never noticed big differences with burn in. maybe if I was using a Magni or something it wouldn't be so obvious

    here are photos. consider this a HD650 obituary

    first, the pitiful box they came in
    [​IMG]

    no L/R indicator on outside of headband. no Braille indicator either, fuckers. the cup yoke is now flat, not rounded. a light tap with a fingernail tells us the plastic is hollow inside. it could not be any cheaper.

    [​IMG]

    there is now a forward/back tilting mechanism. as such these do not have the traditional death grip clamp out of the box, but it only adds to the perception of flimsiness in your hands as the cups jiggle back and forth

    [​IMG]

    rear baffle

    [​IMG]

    1/4" termination is shorter, no Sennheiser logo. again, a cheaper grade of plastic is used. the cable is substantially lighter, like the old HD600 one. who knows how they cheaped out on the wire inside

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Dash

    Dash Facebook Friend

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    Makes me wonder if the Drop HD 6x0 and the HD650 are now one and the same
     
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  8. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    Was just about to post the same thought - the grade of plastic and the tilting mechanism might be suggestive of this?
     
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  9. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    Haven't they always been like this? Hard to tell from picture since it's out of focus.
     
  10. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    That looks precisely like the baffle on the HD600 I got as a replacement off another member here (dented the original's drivers accidentally). Date stamp implies it's a 2019 thing so made following the move to the new factory, it was measurably (and subjectively!) different sounding, I was hoping it would be one of those things that'd solve itself sooner than not.
     
  11. k4rstar

    k4rstar Done his time

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    maybe 5 degrees of freedom back/forth on old pairs. these have more like 30 degrees, if you shake them they jiggle like Shakira
     
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  12. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Wait, do the HD6xx now sound like shit? I haven’t been keeping up. I feel dumb selling my KISS modded 650s now.
     
  13. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    Now you've got me wondering.

    The pair I have definitely sounds like HD650s. There is little doubt for me. I have heard the 660s and it is not even close.

    The plastic does seem cheaper, though I always attributed that to the plain finish showing how cheap it always was. Normally the seams and imperfections would be covered up by that metal flake stuff, but the bare plastic underneath probably would have looked similar. I always found the plastic on 600/650s to be a bit cheap for what they cost. I can tell you they don't feel any lighter, either.

    The forks on mine are definitely solid, too. The forks do swivel a little more than I remember with my old HD600s, but definitely not freely and not 30 degrees... more like half that. And it is rotation... definitely no shifting straight out and away from your head. Not to mention they're stiff enough that they don't move freely when shaking them and you can adjust them and have them stay while on your head. The cups still have just the slightest tilt.

    Also... they do have that lobster grip for sure :p

    Cable... eh, I don't know. Drop has a custom one terminated for 3.5mm that to me feels no cheaper than my mid-2010's HD600s. Just shorter with that smaller plug.

    I don't feel like popping off the rear grille right now, but even without doing that the baffle doesn't appear to have those sharp, nasty edges/mill marks, nor is it super-shiny like the one pictured. They have that uniform, matte grit to them, similar to the outside of the cups. The cups are also identical to classic HD6x0 series.

    If they did change the Drop HD6xx's, it would've been recent. When I got mine, they came in the nice, textured, hinged box with the contoured foam. And IIRC, back when Senn was originally transitioning to the new style, people everywhere seemed to have it in their heads that the Drop ones were the only way to get a pair of proper HD650s. How true that is, I don't know. But looking at the pair I have, they seem like the real deal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
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  14. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    The HD6XX page does now say made in Romania, FWIW.
     
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  15. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    Ooof. Sooner or later maybe one will float in and we can verify if they've really changed or not, or if they're retaining a different process to make them for Drop. If not, that kinda sucks. I'd hate to have to start telling people to track down used pairs. The Drop ones are a good deal. But I'm pretty sure the pair I have came from Ireland.
     
  16. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    My Romanian Drop HD6XX sounds just like a standard HD650 to me at least.
     
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  17. Kernel Kurtz

    Kernel Kurtz Friend

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    Maybe they are counterfeit.

    It happens, even on Amazon.
     
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  18. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Especially on Amazon. Doesn’t Sennheiser have some kind of authenticity tracker on their website?
     
  19. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    Does the right cup have the little hologram sticker on the driver stem?

    This is on my 2015s
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Yep. My 6XXs, 2018 purchase, were made in Ireland; but the production of the Drop-branded versions must have moved along with the Senn-branded ones to the new Romanian factory in 2019.

    It was an interesting story, though, and it seemed that after the first while of production there things settled down a bit:

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/solving-the-hd650-mystery.8026/

    Maybe things have gone backwards since...

    Edit: The link is the story referred to by @monacelli above.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
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